TRAMORE has marked 20 years since the tragic death of four Air Corps members in a helicopter crash.
Dauphin helicopter crew members Capt Dave O’Flaherty (30) from Lucan, Capt Mick Baker (28) from Wexford, Sgt Paddy Mooney (34) from Meath and Cpl Niall Byrne (25) from Dublin died shortly after midnight on July 2nd, 1999, while returning from a successful rescue mission off the Waterford coast.
Their helicopter hit a Tramore sand dune in thick fog.
The crew of Rescue 111 had set off to aid a vessel lost in bad weather off the coast of Dungarvan.
After successfully locating the vessel and guiding it and a lifeboat back to harbour, the helicopter turned for its based at Waterford Airport. The crew unsuccessfully tried to make two instrument landing system approaches in poor weather before opting for an approach from the coast which ultimately ended in disaster.A commemorative ceremony took place on Tramore Prom last Tuesday to remember the crew of Rescue 111.
Various groups were represented at the ceremony which was attended by relatives and friends of the deceased. As part of proceedings, a special fly-over took place. The ceremony was conducted by the special memorial which was constructed on the Prom. The four crew were awarded posthumous distinguished-service medals by the State nine years after the crash.